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Model Claudia Schiffer becomes an International Beauty Icon (2004)

The msn-internet magazine “beautylive” recounts the stunning success story of supermodel Claudia Schiffer, who took the fashion world by storm in the early 1990s and quickly became one of the world’s most photographed faces. Together with fellow German models Nadja Auermann and Tatjana Patitz, and German designer Karl Lagerfeld, Schiffer helped the German fashion industry gain new relevance and enhanced international prestige.

What the following piece lacks in sophistication, it makes up for in breathless enthusiasm. Published in 2004, thus well after the peak of Schiffer’s modeling career, the article is a testimony to her continued hold on the German imagination.

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Claudia Schiffer – the Beauty Icon
She is the muse of fashion designers, the face of the nineties, one of the most beautiful women in the world.

The Claudia Schiffer era has catapulted the experience of being a model into a different sphere – it has made the girls at the top into stars worthy of veneration. Because whoever wants to be at the very top must be able to do more than just pose beautifully.

This is the story of a charismatic blonde, a German businesswoman, a mother of two – the story of a star.

The discovery: Where do we begin?
It all began with all-night dancing in a discotheque on the Kö in Düsseldorf in 1987. It was October. Claudia Schiffer was still in school back then and out with a few friends.

Michael Levaton, head of the French modeling agency Metropolitan, was sitting at the bar and watching her. He was looking for new talent, and she was in the right place at the right time.

Tall, cool, blond – a beautiful young girl
He immediately approached her, introduced himself, and gave her his business card. Naturally she was unsure at first – Test shots? Model? Paris? What did this guy want? But then she wrote down her phone number and he promised to call her at home.

Back then Claudia Schiffer was living with her siblings Stefan, Caroline, and Andreas in a house in Rheinberg, in North Rhine-Westphalia. Mother Gudrun and father Heinz, a well-respected attorney, heard about Claudia’s evening encounter the following morning and responded with extreme skepticism.

Her parents’ biggest priority was for Claudia to finish school. After that she could make her own decisions . . .
But with a lot of patience and persuasiveness, the Paris model scout succeeded in the end: Claudia Schiffer was photographed for the first time. Shy and insecure and only seventeen years old, she stood in front of the camera in the great Paris of fashion fame.

Today she openly recalls that she used to blush easily back then, that she had complexes as a teenager, because she was very tall and very thin at an early age.

But everything was different in front of the camera. The make-up artist’s cosmetics turned her into a different person, and her own personality was also transformed – she became increasingly self-confident; she enjoyed slipping into different roles.

She surprised everyone around her – most of all herself
The days in her hometown of Rheinberg were over; now a very different life, a new life, began.

The new life
It wasn’t so easy in Paris. The fashion scene received the young woman from Germany with restrained applause. “She still looks too child-like,” was the most common remark. But then she was introduced to the famous Odile Sarron, the influential booking-agent of the French women’s magazine Elle. She booked Claudia on the spot. And two weeks later the glossy magazine hit the stands. It was Claudia Schiffer’s first large publication. And when Odile Sarron believes in a new talent, others do, too.

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